An update from Bible Society Ukraine.
28 February 2022
Thanks for all your prayers, we are truly grateful for your support!
Here’s the latest update for your info and prayers:
All Ukrainian BS staff are safe, offices and warehouses too. Last night there were less bombings yet there are lots of saboteur groups who disguise themselves as Ukrainian military/medical personnel/rescuers and trying to capture hostages or cause destruction, so the Ukrainian military were moping them up in many cities and requested civilians to stay home.
Lots of people are staying in bomb shelters all day round due to frequent air-raid alarms, especially in Kyiv and Kharkiv and they often lack food, water and medicines.
Large amounts of people are moving from Eastern/Southern/Northern areas of the country towards Western Ukraine so the local churches are actively helping them by providing shelter/food and clothes, Western branch of the Bible Society is actively involved to provide Scriptures. However, their stock is rapidly diminishing.
Anatoliy Raychynets, our Deputy GS, who stays at the Kyiv office received a special pass from the military in order to freely move across the city during a curfew – with a small team and together with church volunteers and chaplains, they are trying to assist those in need: bringing food, clothes, medicines and Bibles to people in bomb shelters; arranging evacuation to families; collecting and sending supplies for the military and so on. We had some Torches (audio devices with Scriptures) and LightStreams left and they have been extremely helpful as well. (Unfortunately, it is very hard to get photos of distribution these days – the military are asking to not take any photos for security reasons.)
As the amount of Ukrainians seeking refuge in the neighbouring countries is growing and local churches/Christian organizations are actively responding, we’ve had several conversations with BSs in these countries trying to see how best to supply Scriptures to them. Our Western branch is working with pastors at the borders to send Scriptures there and then have them shipped across the border. The situation is complicated with borders currently overfilled with people so we are currently thinking of alternative ways (including digital).
Please continue praying for peace in our country.
Today, Kharkiv, Kyiv and many other cities and towns have suffered from especially heavy and violent shelling with dozens of Ukrainians killed and injured and massive damage to people’s homes and infrastructure. It is told that, in Okhtyrka, a prohibited thermobaric bomb was used.
In Kharkiv, it was very close to Vladimir Agafonov’s (our regional director) home, destroying the school where he and his children used to study. Thankfully, Vladimir and Oleg Sirotkin and their families are safe.
Yet Alex Sultan and his colleagues of the Southern branch in Kherson, which is currently surrounded by the enemy forces and experiences food and fuel shortages, visited local bomb shelters with Scriptures and humanitarian aid to bring encouragement to people staying there.
And Anatoliy Raychynets and his team continue serving in Kyiv, which is currently under another heavy shelling.